U.S. Aid to Ukraine More Than Most Countries’ Military Budgets, with Some Asking How Much More Taxpayers Are Willing to Pay


    The $113 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine has surpassed the annual military budgets of all countries except the United States and China. The passing of the $1.7-trillion omnibus spending bill gives Ukraine the amount of $45 billion in economic and military assistance, bringing the total so far to $113 billion.

    The Quincy Institute's Ben Freeman and William Hartung identified a few ways in which aid to Ukraine has surpassed many of our government's other expenditures and foreign countries’ total military budgets.

    • American aid to any country in one year since “at least” the Vietnam War,
    • Russia’s 2023 $84 billion military budget,
    • Every country’s military budget except for China and the United States,
    • American aid for communities affected by drought, hurricanes, flooding, wildfire, and natural disasters—by $4 billion.

    American support for Ukraine almost matches the base spending of the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security put together. It's almost as much as the $118 billion “the United States will spend on medical care for all U.S. military veterans.”

    If Ukraine were an American state, it would be ranked 11th on the list in terms of the amount of federal funding it receives.

    “In other words, in the past 12 months, Ukraine has been awarded more U.S. taxpayer dollars than 40 U.S. states,” Hartung and Freeman observed.

    Congress's leaders, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) remain strongly in support of aid for Ukraine, in spite of Americans being increasingly skeptical about involvement in Ukraine.

    A Morning Consult poll found that 48 percent of registered Republican voters want to cut the provision of foreign aid. It also revealed that 48 percent of Republicans are looking to reduce U.S. involvement in other nations' issues.

    A December Harvard CAPS/Harris poll found that unemployment, inflation, the economy, and immigration were the most important issues for Americans, not Ukraine.

    Hartung and Freeman have suggested that “it is well past time that Americans had a genuine conversation about just how much U.S. taxpayers should pay for this support.”


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